Weather and Writing

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I’m writing this post in late February, so there is snow everywhere.  Colds are a scourge and I sometimes see my breath . . . while in the house.  It’s freaking cold and I’m sure we’ve all heard/seen the rants.  One thing I haven’t seen much talk of is how this affects authors and their writing.  To be fair, it’s hard to see bundled in blankets or shivering like a leaf in a tornado.

Extreme weathers tends to plunge me into a mental fog.  Too cold and I’m constantly trying to fall asleep or my mind is always going to ways to stay warm.  Too hot and I can barely focus on anything other than the sweating.  I don’t want to fall asleep with the latter, but just lay under a ceiling fan.  Really makes me think not all humans were designed for extreme conditions.  Not without training or enough time to get used to the environment.  I used to be able to handle the cold, but the 4.5 years in Florida decimated my resistance.  Either way, I find that winter and summer require a lot more focus to get any book writing done.  Outlining is slower too.

This makes me wonder even more about how much an author is influenced by the unchangeable parts of our environment.  Sure, we can have a space heater or an air conditioner.  Those take power and the bill can dissuade you from indulging in such things.  At least that’s my issue and why I’m considering taking winters and summers off once I finish Legends of Windemere.  Just editing and novellas because they take less time.  This won’t be years in the future and I think I’m proving how the cold is make me wander around this post.

It seems like we become more prone to sickness and other issues when we have extremes too.  A cold or the flu can knock an author out for a while.  Write in the heat for too long during the summer, so you slow down and get dehydrated.  So we become more aware of our surroundings, which makes getting into that sweet zone of pure writing a lot more difficult.  Not too much it gets harder to move fingers along a keyboard in some situations and you don’t want to sweat on your notebooks.  Ever write along and drip on the page?  It’s frustrating.

This might just be me though, which makes me curious.  Does the weather or any other non-human environment issues make it difficult for you to write?  I’m not counting the phone, people talking, etc.  Things that you can’t unplug or shout at to change.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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36 Responses to Weather and Writing

  1. I love bad weather. It means I can stay inside and write without guilt about missing out on warm sunshine or neglecting yard chores. Rain is the best! My house is cold too, so I carry my laptop up to bed and write all snug in the covers with a cup of hot coffee or tea at my elbow. Later, I’ll start a fire and get the downstairs toasty. Sickness – ugh. That another story.

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    • I think I’d have that situation, but bad weather tends to keep the other residents in the house too. My editor has actually pinpointed the parts I try to write while other people are around. Stupid mistakes run rampant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t agree more. Those darn residents! Ha! When they turn on the television, I can’t concentrate worth beans.

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      • Or come running upstairs to see what you’re doing. Then they suddenly want to jump on the bed, climb onto the exercise bike, or see if you can write while they nap in your lap. Then there’s what the kid does. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • elainecanham says:

        Do teenagers count as non humans? They seem to need to be plugged in to something. And when they’re unplugged, they just slump.

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      • Not even close to the teenager stage yet, so I’m not sure. I’ve been told that one can get more work done around them because they stay in their rooms and refuse to acknowledge the existence of adults.

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      • elainecanham says:

        Hmm. They do have an overwhelming urge to forage, and have an unnerving ability to suddenly appear beside you and make rudimentary, but insistent, grunts about food, or the existence of clean jeans (if they’re venturing out to join the herd). this can have upsetting effects on your ability to remember the ends of sentences. Or indeed, at times, your own name.

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      • I’d be mean. The instructions to the washing machine will be by the detergent and the microwave is foolproof. 😀

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      • elainecanham says:

        Yes….I’m with you naturally…but you then have to be prepared for the ritual chanting ‘By the washing machine…washing machine…big drawer…big drawer…one tablet..turn the knob..’ well, you get the picture, it does nothing for creativity, let me tell you

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      • Never knew about the chanting. Though our machine is in the basement, so talking down there doesn’t reach the other levels of the house.

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      • elainecanham says:

        I’ll start digging a basement, right now.

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  2. Greece is not that cold but can get quite hot in the summer! Having lived in Scotland for a few years, I managed to learn how to live in cold weather and my being Greek has taught me how to survive through heat waves. Still, spring and autumn are best for writing! 🙂

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  3. I don’t know how you manage those minus degrees. I can’t concentrate properly when it’s freezing cold regardless of fingerless gloves without the little air heater. I agree – absolutely love autumn and spring.

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  4. merrildsmith says:

    I sometimes blame the bad weather–too cold or too hot–but as long as there’s some heat in the house and a/c it’s not seriously a factor. I think when spring REALLY comes and I can open the windows I’m sometimes more distracted. I am seriously affected though by the dark days of winter. In December I feel like I have to go to bed at 5 PM. I’m seriously motivated by deadlines whatever the weather. 😉

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  5. C.E.Robinson says:

    Charles, it’s real for some that weather dictates mood. Also environment, not being alone & closed in at home! Anyway to write somewhere else for a few hours each day…coffee shop, library? You probably thought of that and many more solutions! Spring is coming…soon. Hang in there. Christine 🌅

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    • I’ve tried coffee shops and libraries. Tough thing there is that it’s easy to loose your space. But the real reason is that I never know when my son’s school will call. If I’m not home then my dad has to take care of it, which isn’t how it should be.

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  6. When the air pressure is changing or when the temperature is particularly low, I hurt more, and this makes writing quite difficult. Otherwise, weather doesn’t affect my writing.

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  7. The sound of a leaf blower causes all creativity to cease. I begin thinking on how to purchase a rocket launcher and then bags filled with paint. Perhaps a nice magenta will make it stop. It is that kind of thing that stops writing for me.

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  8. I pretty much keep plugging away until I’ve met my goals, no matter the weather. If it’s too windy or thundery, though, I might switch my electronics off as a safeguard, but then I’ll take notes on paper for later.

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    • Thundery tends to mean the laptop goes off the charger for me. Though I always feel like the air is heavy and thick when there is too much heat. It makes it hard to focus even with goals. Very cool that you can push through the bad weather.

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  9. I’m completely with you on this. Extreme weather affects my writing more than I would care to admit, and I think you hit the nail on the head – for me at least – when you touched on how it makes us more aware of our surroundings. It’s just too distracting when you’re freezing or roasting. The cold is worse for me than the heat, probably because I have Raynaud’s disease, which makes my hands hurt really bad when I get too cold.

    Interesting thoughts and discussion.

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  10. L. Marie says:

    I know what you mean. When I’m uncomfortable, it’s hard for me to go into that state of imagination and produce. I find that I write by hand more when I’m wrapped in a blanket. When I’m hot, I type more.

    When the conditions are blizzard-like and I can’t go anywhere, I feel more relaxed about writing, because I have the time to devote to it without the distraction of having to go somewhere. I plop the space heater close by. Once the place is nice and toasty, I settle down to write.

    I think your plan is good to do more novellas and editing at certain times of the year. Whatever helps you to be productive.

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    • I tend to avoid paper when it’s hot because I’m scared I’ll sweat on the pages. Maybe I’m just pickier than most because I really need near perfect comfort.

      I keep hearing people say space heaters are dangerous. I’m not sure why.

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